Holker Hall & Gardens

Holker, United Kingdom

Holker Hall & Gardens


Holker Hall (pronounced Hooker by some) is a privately owned country house located about 2 km to the southwest of the village of Cartmel in the ceremonial county of Cumbria and historic county of Lancashire, England. It is "the grandest [building] of its date in Lancashire ...by the best architects then living in the county." The building dates from the 16th century, with alterations, additions, and rebuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. The 19th century rebuilding was by George Webster in Jacobean Revival style and subsequent renovations were by E. G. Paley. Hubert Austin had a joint practice with Paley by the 1870s and they both rebuilt the west wing after it was destroyed by a major fire in 1871, only a decade after Paley's previous work on the structure. The fire also destroyed a number of notable artworks. Holker Hall is Paley and Austin's "most important country house commission." The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner expressed the opinion that the west wing is the "outstanding domestic work" of Paley and Austin. In 1970 the hall itself, together with its terrace wall, were designated Grade II* Listed buildings. The house stands in an estate of about 80 hectares, and is surrounded by formal gardens, parkland and woodland. Within the grounds are six structures listed at Grade II.

Since becoming a private house following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the estate has never been sold, having passed by inheritance from the Preston family to the Lowther family, and then to the Cavendish family. The house and grounds are open to the public at advertised times on payment of an admission fee.

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